Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Not Just About the Pink Ribbons You know!

I think by now, a person would have to be brain dead to not know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I mean, my goodness, the pink is EVERYWHERE! They even have pink cookware at Target... (It's a little strange if you ask me, considering that the pink is amazingly like Pepto Bismol)

Here's something that you may not know - October is also the month to raise awareness for Domestic Violence. Here's what's real - from the American Institute on Domestic Violence:

*85-90% of all domestic violence victims are females.

*Over 500,000 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year.

*5.3 Million women are abused each year.

*1,232 women are KILLED every year by an intimate partner

*Domestic Violence is the leading cause of Injury to women.

5.3 Million women abused each year - that's almost unbelieveable. There is definitely a reason that Domestic Violence is often referred to as the "silent epidemic". So many people - men, women and children suffer in silence. They suffer because they are afraid to share their pain. They suffer in silence because they are ashamed.

I was one of them. Once upon a time, I let a person who proclaimed to love me lay his hands on me in violence. I thought that if I just loved him enough, that I could change him. I was so wrong and I lost five years of my life because of it.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I got out. Something snapped inside me one day and I knew that things were never going to get better and that, quite likely, they were going to get much, much worse. That realization most probably saved my life. Every day I think about those that weren't as lucky as I.

Today, I have found new strength. Today, I have been married to the love of my life for 10 years and together we are raising two beautiful little girls. I worry for my daughters. I always want them to have the positive self esteem to know that they are worth more than that. I want them to know that real love NEVER raises it's hand in anger.

So while I think it's wonderful to raise awareness for Breast Cancer ( a very worthy cause), I think that all of us should be aware and thinking of those that continue to suffer in silence. There is nothing domestic about violence. If you or someone you know if suffering, please stand up and be silent no longer! Let your voice be heard! Please call the Domestic Violence Helpline at 188-799-SAFE. Help stop the silent epidemic!

I'm a survivor - 10+ years and counting. You can be a survivor too!